Making news

Kien Giang works to ensure locals’ health as Phu Quoc to be open to foreign tourists

The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has drafted a plan on tourism recovery and development, along with procedures to welcome foreign tourists while protecting residents’ health.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is collecting opinions from other ministries and sectors on the pilot plan to open the province’s island city of Phu Quoc to foreign visitors from October.

The plan will be carried out on the island upon the issuance of procedures on receiving foreign visitors, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Luu Trung said.

Under the plan, Phu Quoc will receive up to 3,000 travellers per month who will arrive with charter flights and be served in designated locations. The number is set to rise up to 10,000 by the subsequent three months through commercial flights, with additional tourist destinations being opened.

The island may also require a “vaccine passport” from them and tighten preventive measures by collecting their samples for COVID-19 rapid test, among others. 

Visitors are advised to install contact tracing and health declaration apps and must test negative to COVID-19 72 hours prior to their arrival.

Phu Quoc is home to 150,436 residents, with 127,607 people aged from 18 and 65. Of them, about 60,000 are working in the tourism industry and eligible for joining the pilot plan.

Local authorities have launched an inoculation drive with an aim to have 95 percent of the eligible fully vaccinated.

Kien Giang greeted 2.3 million tourists in the first seven months of 2021, a year-on-year decline of 32.4 percent. It was estimated to earn 2.64 trillion VND (nearly 115.3 million USD) in the period, down 48.7 percent and hitting 20.8 percent of the year’s plan.

Phu Quoc alone welcomed over 1.6 million visitors and raked in nearly 1.95 trillion VND, contracting 28 percent and about 52 percent against the same period last year, respectively./.